Pushing marine fish aquaculture forward

table as well as environmentally friendly. The group works mainly with southern flounder, black sea bass, Florida pompano, and hybrid striped bass, but their research can be applied to a wide range of other species.

A key focus for this collaboration, which will be covered during the conference, is the development of techniques and equipment necessary to raise saltwater fish in freshwater, or very low-salt water, which decreases operating costs and makes inland aquaculture facilities with no ready saltwater sources feasible. Other research areas for the collaboration include developing technologies to allow completely closed aquaculture systems that do not release any polluted water or create any other environmental hazards, and evaluation of aquaculture methods that are low cost and energy efficient.

Besides this work, talks at the conference will cover such topics as:

  • How U.S. regulations have pushed many investors and companies to develop fish aquaculture businesses in other countries, and plans in the works to restructure US aquaculture regulations to better tap the market's potential here and thus reduce the existing aquaculture trade deficit.

  • The most environmentally friendly methods for raising fish at both greenhouse facilities and in offshore cages.

  • Use of solar power and other technologies to minimize operating costs at aquaculture facilities.

  • Manipulating temperature during spawning to produce all female offspring for fish such as southern flounder whose females grow faster and reach sizes two to three times larger than males, and are therefore far more commercially valuable.

  • Methods for inducing fish to spawn so that aquaculture facilities operate at full capacity year round, rather than being constrained by natural spawning patterns.

    The conference, called the International Sustainable Marine Fish Culture Conference and Workshop, will be held Oct. 9-10, 2003, on th

  • Contact: Mark Schrope
    Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution

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